Highlights of March Board of Directors Meeting: Strategic Planning

Highlights of March Board of Directors Meeting: Strategic Planning

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FASCO, FACP

Mar 30, 2018

The most basic function of a nonprofit board is to have a vision and develop strategies to bring that vision to life. To that end, our Board of Directors held a retreat during March 8-10, 2018, in San Francisco, CA. Some of you may wonder why we held a retreat again so soon after doing the same in November 2017. The reason is that we needed to get the Board meeting schedule in synch with our strategic and tactical planning cycle. With this retreat we have reset our schedule to emphasize strategic planning in March each year. This allows us to use the strategic planning decisions we make in March as the basis for developing department-level annual goals in July during a full-day vice presidents’ retreat. Then, our Finance Department will use those goals to develop ASCO’s budget. This, in turn, enables us to spend our resources—both fiscal and “human capital”—in alignment with our strategic priorities.

To provide additional context for the March meeting, you may recall that at the November 2017 meeting, the ASCO Board had adopted a 5-year outcome statement and set specific goals. Now, in March, the Board developed strategies and began to identify metrics for these goals. This is driving a transformational shift in ASCO’s culture and the way we operate.

The Board adopted multiyear strategies that can be summarized as:

  • Understanding/aligning ASCO’s offerings in relation to member/constituent needs
  • Empowering a more satisfied oncology team that can deliver better care
  • Innovating to improve learning

The decisions the Board made will enable ASCO to define the behaviors and resources that support our professional community to achieve greater career satisfaction while delivering ever better care. Our mantra is that we want “happier doctors delivering higher-quality care.”

During this meeting the Board also formally adopted all of the goals and strategies from the Women in Oncology Strategic Plan for the advancement of women in oncology. This supports the first of our four long-term goals (identifying and responding to the needs of our members) and is an important step for gender equity in our profession. The Board endorsement will have practical implications for ASCO’s selective programs—and it will resonate well beyond our gates.

The next step is that staff are developing a dashboard of metrics that will keep the Board informed and provide organization-wide accountability to the strategic plan. We are further developing a model for evaluation of new and existing programs to drive organizational discipline and alignment of resources to strategic priorities.

In other news, at the March meeting, the Board appointed Dr. Linda D. Bosserman as the next editor in chief of the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP). Linda will be following in the footsteps of Dr. John V. Cox, who has dedicated 10 years at the helm of JOP. John took JOP from a start-up journal to a respected publication with a well-defined scope and a unique voice in the journal space. Linda steps into big shoes, but given her career in oncology practice, health policy, administration, research, and editing, she has a uniquely broad view that will enable her to continue the journal’s growth and will help keep oncology professionals up to date as they face new challenges and a rapidly evolving care delivery system. We can think of no better person to extend and deepen the impact of this increasingly important journal!

The next ASCO Board meeting is in May 2018 in Chicago, right before the Annual Meeting. We look forward to seeing you all at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago in June and plan to bring you another update following that meeting.


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